Good - but not 100,000 times better
There’s been a lot of coverage of Instagram’s superstars in the press. These are Instagram users who have huge followings who are being used by companies for advertising. An IGer is paid by a company to take photos at a product launch event and then post them to their 100,000 followers. Here’s the latest article in Business Insider. But an important thing this article fails to analyse is how these IGers built up their followings. The closest it comes to this question is: “A popular Instagram user wouldn’t have more than 100,000 fans if he or she didn’t provide a quality product.” This is a blithe - and incomplete, if not entirely incorrect - assumption. As I’ve already said in another blog, you don’t necessarily get followers because your photos are good. The superstar IGers get a lot of their followers because Instagram has featured them on the “suggested user” list. And then as their follower numbers shoot up, this allows them to get onto the popular page, which in turn boosts their numbers further. And then the starstruck factor kicks in: people follow superstars hoping their stardom will rub off on them.
So, why does Instagram pick out specific users and anoint them as their superstars? Because it attracts articles like this and then that attracts the attention of businesses who start thinking about using Instagram for their advertising.
Most of these IGers’ photos are good. But not 100,000 times better than other IGers’.
Some people think their photos are good because they’ve got 100,000 followers!